Wednesday, 14 April 2021

Vegan Dried Fruit Cookies

 

These cookies are a tasty treat at any time!

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Ingredients:

- 1/2 cup of Nuttelex butter (room temperature)

-  1/2 cup of brown sugar (tightly packed)

- 1/2 cup of white sugar

- 1 1/2 cups of plain flour

- 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats

- 1/3 to 1/2 cup of soy milk (or other milk of your choice)

- 3/4 teaspoon of baking powder

- 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda

- 1/2 cup of dried fruit (we used sultanas)

- A pinch of cinnamon and a pinch of all spice (amount depends upon how spicy you like your cookies)

Method:  

- Cream the butter and two sugars together.


- In a separate bowl place all dry ingredients except fruit. Stir the ingredients.

- Add the creamed butter and sugar to the dry ingredients and mix.

 

- Slowly add milk to the batter and stir.

- Stir the dried fruit through the batter.


 - Line a baking tray and place spoons of batter on the tray. Leave space between the cookies and they will rise.

- Cook for approximately 15 minutes or until the cookies have browned.


 Enjoy!

Vegan Peanut Butter Slice


We are baking again as it is a busy time for events and cake stalls at the Valley. A delicious favourite is this cruelty free Peanut Butter Slice.

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.

Ingredients:

- 1 cup of peanut butter (room temperature)

- 1/2  cup of brown sugar

- 1 cup of self-raising flour

- 1 cup of rolled oats

- 2/3 of a cup of soy milk (or your milk of choice)

Method:

- Put the peanut butter in a mixing bowl and mix to loosen the peanut butter (and make it easier to work with).

-  Add the brown sugar to the peanut butter and stir until creamy.


- Add the flour and oats and stir. Add the milk (slowly) while stirring.

- Line a slice baking tray with baking paper. Pour the batter into the tray and even out using the back of a spoon. The slice will rise so allow for this.

- Bake in the oven for approximately 20 minutes. 

Peanut butter slice before baking.


After baking.

- Allow to cool thoroughly before cutting. We cooled ours in the fridge. 

With a drizzle of dark chocolate.

- We iced our slice with Sweet William dark chocolate. Melt the chocolate in the microwave and drizzle over the slice. Return to the fridge to harden the chocolate. 


 

 

Monday, 22 March 2021

Fire in the Valley

By Chris R.


On the 1st of February it was a hot and gusty day. With the implementation of a week long Covid lockdown the previous evening, I was feeling fortunate to be working from home given the summery forecast. The fire danger was severe, again, and the animals were hot and restless.  

Around midday, smoke appeared in the east. While organising yet another run of the irrigation to cool the aviaries, this plume, attributed to a structural fire in distant Wooroloo, was growing. The smoke was blowing parallel to the Valley and reports of its farmland location, where it would be ‘easily contained’, provided comfort.  

At around 1.30pm, I moved my laptop to the kitchen to allow a full view of the east while working. The growing smoke plume was distracting, and by 3pm, work was packed up. Another check of the fire map spurred my decision to contact our fire response volunteers, just to be safe.  

At 4.15pm, the Valley received the first of three mobile phone emergency warnings from DFES. Our fire plan was enacted - sheep in the east flock were moved into the runway, carriers were placed near aviaries and the fire pumps again tested. Ten volunteers gathered under the outdoors marquee, making notes while watching the online fire map rapidly change, as did the colour of the sky.



 


One of our volunteers, who also volunteers with the local brigade and was fighting the fire in the east, messaged an update just before 5pm. The wind was growing and a slight change would take the path of the fire directly to our friends at Happy Hooves Sanctuary, just half an hour away.

The decision was made to support the crew at Happy Hooves. We left some volunteers at PVAS with a fire unit in case of a wind change. Seven volis, four vehicles and the Valley’s second fire unit began the journey north, passing ‘road closed’ signs and a sea of floats, trailers and animals all heading in the opposite direction. The smoke was drifting and the sky was orange. The faces of those heading out reflected our own concerns about the rapidly changing situation.

Once at Happy Hooves, plans were discussed, poultry collected and placed in carriers, and the last of the large animals moved to safe open areas.  By 6.30pm, the glow in the south was growing brighter, the faint roar becoming louder and the smell of smoke stonger. It was a long hour watching, waiting and planning – uncertain of  the trajectory of the firey monster reaching the scarp ahead.  Loud bangs were unnerving, and headlights moving out of the fire front were sobering – so many people in so much danger beyond the ridge.  The air support fire fighters headed back to base as nightfall approached. Help from above would not be back until the following morning.



The fire kept a steady westerly direction, moving along the ridge, yet remaining distant from Happy Hooves. Two additional helpers arrived with reports of roads which were accessible, so we mapped our journey back to the Valley in front of the head fire, knowing that HHFS would be safe for the night and we could return to tend the animals at home before all the roads were closed.

It was a long night back at the Valley. Hourly checks of conditions were made, each time we were glad that both PVAS and HHFS were safe. The fire was sitting between the two properties. The roads on which we had travelled just hours earlier were closed, littered with burnt trees and power poles. The fire continued west and more properties were evacuated. Our thoughts stayed with all those in its path and its wake, not realising how far it would actually travel before contained.

On the Tuesday, a message from SAFE Bullsbrook indicated that they were now in danger. All of their animals were evacuated with the exception of three of their biggest goats so we hurriedly hitched up the trailer to collect the important caprine cargo. Billy, Molly and George were soon on the road to the Valley as the smoke in the east continued to grow.  


By Friday, the Wooroloo Fire had travelled 26 km and destroyed 86 human homes and thousands of animal homes.  Paddocks were blackened and fences gone, but already the community was rallying to help those who had lost so much. The impact of the Wooroloo Fire will be felt for months, and years, to come. Possum Valley was safe and received no animals to care for from the blaze. We urge anyone wishing to donate to those affected to see the ‘Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund’ on Facebook.

Possum Valley will be continuing with its bushfire ready activities throughout the coming year and would love help at our monthly ‘Bushfire Ready Busy Bees’. With over 200 animals in care, evacuation is not an option, so being ready for fire is a priority. We would love to see you there!


 

 

Saturday, 27 February 2021

Valentine’s Day in the Valley

By Chris R.


This year Valentine’s Day fell on a Sunday, so what better way to celebrate the day of love surrounded by beautiful cruelty free food and farm friends!

The Valentine’s picnic was very popular, with tickets selling in just three days, so we were excited to host our very keen couples. The weather was warm and overcast, perfect for our guests to enjoy a guided tour of the Sanctuary before finding their picnic places in the forest. Platters of savoury and sweet treats were enjoyed amongst the trees, accompanied by the sounds of the Sanctuary at sunset. 

 
 
 


Thank you to everyone who supported our event and volunteered on the day – it was indeed a day of love for guest and animals alike!


Little Beans Gourmet Lunch


Little Beans Gourmet, located in Canning Vale, generously provided an incredible lunch for our volunteers last weekend, donating an array of delicious treats for the hardworking crew.




The food was very much enjoyed and we can’t wait to pay them a visit!  

Be sure to check out their amazing menu and updates on Facebook 😊

Saturday, 23 January 2021

New Arrivals at PVAS

 By Chris R.


Eve (Evan) the Peachick


 Late on Christmas Eve we were excited to see Chloe Peahen with a surprise new family member in the orchard! The tiny new arrival appeared to have hatched earlier that day and was closely following his/her very protective Mum around the fruit trees. While we do not endorse breeding of animals at the Sanctuary given the need of so many, we are so happy for Chloe and will look forward to watching her raise her new arrival in the safety of the Sanctuary.  



At present we aren’t certain of the sex of the baby, so at this stage, the little one is know as Eve/Evan. Just look at that little tail!

Sarge the Goat


In late spring we were contacted about a large, friendly goat who was experiencing mobility issues after falling from a trampoline as a youngster. Uncertain of the extent of the injuries described, we agreed that the big fellow be surrendered to the Valley, in the hope that we could manage his health issues as needed. 

Upon arrival, the now named ‘Sarge’ was a handsome, hairy, gentle giant. Although he was understandably wary of his new surrounds, we were pleasantly surprised to find that Sarge was able to walk and run, coping with his past injuries surprisingly well.  



Dr Herb, from Farm Animal Services at Murdoch, gave Sarge a health check and confirmed that while his spine is fused, the remaining damage shouldn’t hold him back from a comfortable and happy life at the Sanctuary. Once out of quarantine, Sarge was trialled with the goat and ram bachelors, where he fits in beautifully, loving life with his new paddock mates in the Valley of Hope.